Prep Transition to Senior School
At Ewell Castle, we offer a seamless transition through our whole School
A key benefit of our through school
Ewell Castle School is one of just a handful of co-educational independent day schools in the Surrey/London borders that provide an education from Nursery through to Sixth Form. One of the key benefits to pupils of attending a through school, is that they experience a seamless transition through each stage of their education from Nursery to Sixth Form. At our Prep School, existing Ewell Castle School pupils are not required to submit an application form when transferring from our Preparatory School to our Senior School as there is the expectation that all pupils will be able to remain at Ewell Castle and transfer into the Senior School while being aware that some may choose to sit for other schools and will be prepared for such. The same applies to our Year 11 pupils applying for a place in our Sixth Form.*1
Selection and admissions
We have written entrance assessments for pupils wishing to join us at Years 7 through to 11 (to ascertain whether pupils can access the curriculum) and taster sessions in our Nursery when your child will be informally assessed for readiness to join our setting. For entry into Reception to Year 6, a Taster Day for your child will include an assessment through observation in the classroom and some written assessments in-class. We are a genuine mixed ability school and attract pupils from a broad range of academic abilities, from the most able to those who may require some additional support. We ensure the best outcome for each of our pupils.
Ewell Castle School is renowned for its outstanding pastoral care and family ethos
'There is widespread affection for the School's family ethos and we are utterly loyal to our pupils, dedicated to inspiring their best achievement, whether in: academic success, sporting excellence or exceptional performing arts. The School's reputation for an ambitious and personalised approach to each pupil is well founded, creating a rounded and grounded experience for all. Ewell Castle School’s ideology is to focus our energy on the learning and welfare of our children. What happens in the classroom is the beating heart of the School, stretching and challenging our pupils to achieve more than they thought possible, and to support them when they are struggling. I firmly believe that “I don’t know” is a starting point to stimulate young people’s thinking and is never the end of the discussion - developing a growth mindset means that effort and struggle will always eventually be rewarded. Moreover, carefully nurtured social and emotional intelligence enhances communication skills and empathy, increasingly valuable qualities that will never go out of fashion in life beyond formal education.' Silas Edmonds - Principal Ewell Castle School
The majority of our Prep pupils transition to our Senior School
The majority of our Prep School pupils move up to our Senior School, which is situated just across the road from the Prep School site on Church Street. Every November, our Year 6 Prep pupils sit our Senior School Year 7 Entrance Tests which include English Language and Mathematics written papers. This provides our pupils with very useful experience of taking written exams under formal exam conditions, in preparation for senior school study. Our Year 6 pupils are generally all offered a Year 7 place at our Senior School and may take up the offer of a place; we understand, however, that not all families wish to do so. Most of the pupils who leave us at the end of Year 6 join local state secondary schools or grammar schools, other independent schools and a small number may move overseas.
How we prepare our Prep pupils for Year 7 at Ewell Castle School
In Year 4 we offer a continued programme to maximise learning potential and any interventions for making those not making expected progress. We also have weekly Thinking Skills Lessons, focussing on non-verbal and verbal reasoning to enhance children's thinking skills as well as developing grammatical knowledge through verbal reasoning. Additionally we have weekly Philosophy 4 Children sessions to develop their ability to question and reason – an important part of preparation both for Ewell Castle Senior School and other senior schools.
In Year 5 we continue with the Thinking Skills Lessons, weekly Philosophy 4 Children and work with pupils on gaining exposure to exam style questions in English and Mathematics. Parents are also offered the opportunity to meet individually with The Head of Prep and Assistant Head, Teaching and Learning in the Spring term to explore Year 7 options to suit each individual child. Parents are also invited to a scholarship information evening outlining the various Ewell Castle School scholarships that Prep children may apply for and how best to prepare for them.
In Year 6 we e continue with the Thinking Skills Lessons, weekly Philosophy 4 Children and work with pupils on gaining exposure to exam style questions in English and Mathematics. There is also a drop-in 11+ Prep Club in the Autumn Term that includes interview preparation as appropriate. Finally, all Year 6 parents meet with the Principal of the whole School (based at the Senior School) together with the Head of the Preparatory School to discuss Senior School provision and opportunities and transition activities which will take place to enable our Prep pupils to feel well settled whether moving to the Senior School or other schools after year 6.
Ewell Castle Prep pupils and scholarships at our Senior School
Ewell Castle Prep School pupils neither have to apply for a place at Ewell Castle Senior School nor do they have to apply for an academic scholarship at the School. All pupils sitting the Ewell Castle Senior School Year 7 entrance assessments are automatically considered for an academic scholarship based on their performance in the entrance paper. Academic scholarships and awards are awarded to the highest achieving candidates. Our Year 6 pupils can however apply for up to two Year 7 scholarships from Art, DT, Drama, Music and Sport and will need to submit necessary portfolios and/or attend the necessary subject specific assessments.
*1 = All Sixth Form places are conditional upon the required GCSE (or equivalent) grades being achieved. All existing Ewell Castle School Year 11 pupils are requested to confirm whether or not they will be taking up the offer of a place in our Sixth Form by the Spring Term of Year 11. As long as they achieve the necessary grades required for their chosen subjects, then they will be accepted onto their chosen Sixth Form courses.
**2 = Whilst Senior School places at Ewell Castle Senior School are offered to the majority of our Prep School pupils, this offer is not guaranteed. From time to time, it may be necessary for Prep staff to meet with families and discuss suitable alternative educational options for their children. This occurs if staff within each Ewell Castle setting believe that particular children will struggle to cope with the academic demands of our curriculum within the next setting, without significant support i.e. Prep School or Senior School, or that the school will not be suitably resourced for the pupils’ particular emerging needs. These conversations will take place with sufficient time to be able to make alternative choices as we look to support each pupil.